Our Planet

Minerals and algae form patterns in the scalding hot water at Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park's Midway Geyser Basin. Yellowstone National Park has more than 10,000 thermal features, making it the largest concentration of active geysers in the world.

How a Microbe From Yellowstone's Hot Springs Could Help Feed the World

A Chicago startup has turned a fungus found by NASA into a protein-packed food

A volcanic eruption moves toward the outskirts of the evacuated town of Grindavik on Iceland’s Reykjanes Peninsula.

Iceland's Recent Volcanic Eruptions Are Unleashing Deep Secrets

Each dramatic episode over the past few years has led to fresh geologic revelations, and researchers think another bout is on the way

A logging road in Montana’s Lolo National Forest. America’s woodlands are carved up by obsolete roads that fragment wildlife habitat and degrade fragile ecosystems. Now ecologists are calling in bulldozers to rip them up.

Planet Positive

The Case for Destroying Old Forest Roads

Can demolishing abandoned dirt paths point the way to a more sustainable future?

Greenhouse gas emissions that result from burning fossil fuels drive climate change.

Six Big Ways Climate Change Could Impact the United States by 2100

Climate change is expected to affect all parts of the country in the coming decades, threatening everything from our food supply to our coastlines

Farmers have shown a renewed interest in planting coffee in the shade of other plants. The resulting farms are visited by a multitude of creatures from ants to birds to bats.

How Shade Coffee Aids Conservation

When managed in the right way, the farms that provide our morning brew can be a refuge for plant and animal biodiversity

This small, bucolic waterfall in Western New York has one highly photogenic feature: a grotto lit by a dancing orange flame.

Seven Natural Phenomena Worth Traveling For

You need to be in the right place at the right time to see these celestial and earthly wonders

Returning Rapids Project investigator Chris Benson examines old photos of the Colorado River to see how it has changed over time.

Citizen Scientists Document a Recovering Colorado River

The Returning Rapids Project charts a resurgent waterway and its surrounding ecosystems

Kelp cultivated in underwater forests could help curb climate change, both because of the carbon these forests capture and because products made from kelp can reduce carbon emissions.

Could Sinking Tons of Seaweed to the Ocean Floor Help Combat Climate Change?

Submerged seaweed can store carbon at the bottom of the sea, but how effective the strategy will be remains unclear

Ocean drainage basins of the world

These Entrancing Maps Capture Where the World's Rivers Go

Cartographer Robert Szucs uses satellite data to make stunning art that shows which oceans waterways empty into

I thought I saw more red foliage this fall. Is that related to climate change?

Does Climate Change Affect Leaves' Fall Colors? And More Questions From Our Readers

You’ve got questions. We’ve got experts

Left, Bartram’s illustration of Annona grandiflora, a member of the pawpaw family, which appeared in the naturalist’s 1791 Travels, right.

More Than 200 Years After He Toured Florida, America's First Great Environmentalist Is Inspiring Locals to Reconnect With Nature

A new generation is discovering the rambling Southern route of William Bartram and his legendary 1791 travelogue

Plastics break down over time into micro- and nanosized particles that litter our water and air.

One Liter of Bottled Water May Contain 240,000 Tiny Plastic Fragments

A new technique reveals that the liquid may contain 10 to 1000 times more plastic pieces than previously thought

A leatherback turtle returns to the sea after nesting. Females spend three to five months at a time nesting, laying eggs for periods of about nine days.

Should Endangered Turtles Have Legal Rights?

To protect the majestic reptiles around the isthmus of Panama, an ambitious conservation group digs deep both on and off the beach

Costa Rica's Arenal volcano spews geysers of lava, ash and toxic gases

Why Central American Volcanoes Are Ideal for Studying Earth's Evolution

The volcanic arc extending from Mexico to Costa Rica expels a variety of magma types that make for a geological paradise

This year was marked by many broken records in the ocean.

The Top Ten Ocean Stories of 2023

Major discoveries, an undersea tragedy and international cooperation were some of the biggest saltwater moments of the year

Sultan al-Jaber, the president of COP28, and other participants at the conference applaud. The final document resulting from COP28 mentioned transitioning away from fossil fuels, rather than phasing them out over time.

The Six Biggest Takeaways From COP28

The United Nations climate change conference drew praise for new pledges and criticism for watered-down language

Covid-19 lockdowns had all kinds of effects on wild populations, helping some and hindering others. In one Mexican marine park, though, the sudden lack of tourists led to an increase in the density and diversity of marine species.

During Covid-19 Lockdowns, Fish Flourished in This Park

In the absence of tourists, the animals increased within Mexico’s Cabo Pulmo National Park

Our ten favorite science books of the year covered everything from astronomy to undersea exploration.

The Best Books of 2023

The Ten Best Science Books of 2023

From stories on the depths of the ocean to the stars in the sky, these are the works that moved us the most this year

In 2023, wildfires ravaged communities in Canada, Hawaii and elsewhere across the globe.

There's More to That

Why Wildfires Are Burning Hotter and Longer

As conflagrations become more difficult to contain, a citizen movement to try to manage them through “prescribed burns” is growing

Svalbard reindeer graze during an early snowfall. If temperatures rise again, food may be trapped under ice during a critical time for packing on winter pounds.

The World’s Smallest Reindeer Get Their Day in the Sun

On Norway’s Svalbard archipelago, a rare animal is thriving—for now

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